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The Fiscal and Social Efficacies of Higher Education in Correctional Institutions


50 Years of Advocacy & Redemption Through Education

›› The projected LBB cost per day for an incarcerated felon in FY2018-2019 is $54.90 per day, equal to $20,040 per year. ›› The average recidivism rates in Texas are 49% (re-arrest) and 25% (re-incarceration) (LBB 2010). ›› A 2013 RAND Corporation study showed that participation in prison post-secondary education reduces the re-incarceration rate by

over half.

›› Almost 10,000 Texas inmates participated in prison post-secondary education in FY2016. Under the normal re-incarceration rate,

almost 2,500 would end up back in prison. Based on these studies, their participation reduces that likelihood to fewer than 1,200 reincarcerated. Using the average annual cost, the savings are over $25 million in avoided re-incarceration, more than double the total education cost.

›› Inmates completing two years of college average a 10% recidivism and 5% re-incarceration (Kemp 2003). ›› Applying that rate, only about 29 of the 582 offenders who graduated from just Lee College’s TDCJ higher education programs in

2015-16 would be expected to be re-incarcerated, a reduction of 116 from the 25% (145) would likely be re-incarcerated at the rate of the overall prison population.

›› That additional reduction in re-incarceration will save Texas over $2.3 million per year, about the same as the total TDCJ appropriation

for Academic and Vocational Training plus the supplemental $775,000.

›› That reduction in recidivism also saves many Texans from being the victims of crime. ›› Post-secondary vocational programs provide training for offenders to be utilized in TDCJ jobs. Lee College awarded about 468 technical

certificates last year. Thirty-seven percent of those eligible for job placement were assigned to TDCJ jobs related to their technical training. If TDCJ saved only $20,000 for each of the approximately 172 who were placed, compared to the cost of hiring an employee, the overall savings equals another $3.44 million per year – just from Lee College graduates.

›› Offenders must maintain a positive disciplinary record while enrolled in post-secondary educational programs. ›› Employment after release was 13 percent higher among prisoners who participated in either academic or vocational education pro-

grams than those who did not (RAND 2013).

›› Offenders who have participated in or completed post-secondary vocational programs exhibited higher employment, employment

retention rates and wages than those who have not participated.

›› Offenders who have participated in post-secondary programs are required to make repayments to the state of the cost of their

education after release. These repayments, averaging about $580,000 per year, currently pay for about 30% of the annual appropriation.

›› Post-Secondary educational programs contribute to TDCJ’s pursuit of its mission to: › Provide public safety › Promote positive change in offender behavior › Reintegrate offenders into society

Lee College Huntsville Prison Program  

The Fiscal and Social Efficacies of Higher Education in Correctional Institutions

Lee College Huntsville Prison Program  

The Fiscal and Social Efficacies of Higher Education in Correctional Institutions